Uncontrollable movements include many types of movements you cannot control. They can affect the arms, legs, face, neck, or other parts of the body.
Examples of uncontrollable movements are:
See also: Tardive dyskinesia
There are many causes of uncontrolled movements. Some movements last only a short time. Others are due to a permanent condition of the brain and spinal cord and may get worse.
Some of these movements affect children. Others affect only adults.
Causes in children:
Causes in adults:
Physical therapy that includes swimming, stretching, walking, and balancing exercises can help with coordination and slow the damage.
Family support is important. It helps to openly discuss your feelings. Self-help groups are available in many communities. Try physical therapy as needed.
Call your health care provider if you have any unexplained movements that you cannot control and that don't go away.
The health care provider will perform a physical exam and ask questions about your symptoms and medical history. You may have a detailed examination of both the nervous and muscle systems.
Medical history questions may include:
Tests that may be done include:
Treatment will depend on the cause. Many uncontrollable movements may be treated with medications. At other times, symptoms may improve on their own. Your health care provider will make recommendations based on your signs and symptoms.
Uncontrolled movements; Involuntary body movements; Body movements - uncontrollable; Dyskinesia; Athetosis; Myoclonus; Ballismus
Jankovic J, Lang AE. Movement disorders: diagnosis and assessment. In: Bradley WG, Daroff RB, Fenichel GM, Jankovic J, eds. Bradley: Neurology in Clinical Practice. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Butterworth-Heinemann Elsevier; 2008:chap 23.
Lang A. Other movement disorders. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 434.
Updated by: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by Joseph V. Campellone, MD, Division of Neurology, Cooper University Hospital, Camden, NJ. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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